Tuesday 23 March 2021 was a special day – bringing people from all backgrounds, communities, and all parts of the UK together, to reflect on the tragic loss of life we've all felt over the last year and support all those who are grieving.
Following on from National Reflection Day, Action Together have been reflecting on the past 12 months, thinking about all of the amazing work the people and communities of the Rochdale Borough have done and continue to do to support communities.
Last April 2020, we released the Covid 19 Community Response Fund to give Voluntary, Community, Faith and Social Enterprise groups and mutual aid groups the opportunity to apply for up to £1,000 to support the local response to Covid 19.
We funded 133 successful projects in the Rochdale Borough carrying out a variety of different projects to support the local community in the times of crisis. Groups have recently been submitting monitoring for their projects to let us know the impact the projects had or continue to have on communities.
Below are snapshots of two projects monitoring we would like share:
Rochdale and District Disability Action Group
From this pot of funding we provided radios for 30 disabled people to help reduce loneliness and isolation, improve mental well-being and give access to up to date information.
The application process went smoothly and we posted out the radios rather than hand deliver them which helped with people’s anxiety around face-to-face contact.
We contacted everyone who received a radio and asked them what difference it had made to them, the feedback was lovely, people were so grateful, one stand out comment was ‘Thank you for thinking of us oldies who don’t get our news from our phones, I like to know what’s going on, if I turn on my radio on the hour I know I’ll hear some news or other’ and another comment ‘Just wanted to say thank you really, it was nice to feel remembered, I’m shielding it’s as though the world has forgotten about us.’
The comments gave our volunteers involved in the project remotely a real boost as they could see they’d really made a difference to people.
The comments from the people who received radios and the difference it made to them has to be the highlight, it's amazing how such a small act can really make a big difference to someones life.
Darnhill Festival Association
Our grant was a contribution to the Get Creative Inside packs which were produced in partnership with Link4Life and Cartwheel Arts. The grant allowed the creation and distribution of an additional 125 ‘emergency art packs’ to disadvantaged families on the Darnhill estate, Heywood. The packs were a complete resource consisting of 20 different activities ideas and instructions, with all of the materials needed to complete each activity.
We feel this project was a huge success - the feedback from Darnhill schools was overwhelmingly positive:
“Thank you so much from everyone at St Margaret’s C.E. Primary School. These amazing art/creative packs have been really well received by our families. The packs will help to keep our pupils focused, will support their home learning and will promote well-being and enjoyment too. This display of support shows what the community are doing for all our families during this really challenging and difficult time.” Maxine Beresford, Headteacher.
“The packs arrived at 8.45am and we think they are amazing! What a fantastic box of goodies and resources for our families. The children will love them. Can't wait to give them out on Monday. Thanks you so much!” Katharine Collingwood, Deputy Headteacher, Heap Bridge Primary School
We recognise that community action continues to take place across the Borough in response to the pandemic. We currently have a Rochdale Community Respond, Repair and Recover fund available for VCFSE groups to apply for up to £1,000, please click here for more information.